Protecting the Seller’s Best Interests With BACK UP OFFERS

Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Liberty Homes RS-#62825


Back in the Day’ it was the norm to have multiple offers AND have a couple of Back Up Offers as well. A Back Up Offer is a security blanket for the seller should the first contract fall out. The Back Up Offer will immediately be in place with a contingency that the original contract has a successful sign off of the cancellation.


In Hawaii, we ‘open’ ESCROW (which is an independent third neutral party that takes care of the interests of both buyers and sellers) with an accepted Purchase Contract and initial deposit of the buyer. They take care of the final settlement with the recording of the documents, paying off the existing liens, mortgages and any other expenses to have a successful closing.


The ESCROW Company will also take care of a cancelled transaction and send out cancellation letters to all parties and initiate the Back Up Offer Purchase Contract in escrow and send out the first documents for the Buyer and the Seller.  The transaction date starts at that time.


This practice ‘saves’ a lot of headache, time and heartache and held true just a few short weeks ago. A transaction for a listing of mine was in contract and a few days before we left on vacation (with my pushing and shoving for the Conditional Loan Commitment Letter) the loan officer says, “In all good faith, we cannot proceed with the buyer’s loan”. YIKES!  You mean the buyer wasn’t qualified after all? 


NO PROBLEMO!  We immediately initiated our accepted Back Up Offer two days before departure on our vacation.  The appraisal is in, survey complete, Termite and Pest Control is scheduled to inspect and give a report, full loan approval and tentative signing is occurring next week.


I’d say that the market is picking up in order to receive back up offers.


I’d say suggesting to the seller to continue showing for back up offers was a positive.


I’d say that a back up offers rock!




Posted by



Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman  is a Realtor-Associate® and Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) with Century 21 Liberty Homes in Mililani, Hawaii. With a sharp understanding that a listening ear is the key to a client's needs  she serves the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) and all Hawaii Military Relocations, Hawaii Retirees, Hawaii Job Transfers and Hawaii Residents, Home Buyers and Sellers.


 © 2007-2015 Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman's

Hawaii Real Estate and Relocation Blog.

All rights reserved.





Home Selling
Hawaii Honolulu County Mililani Mililani Home Sales
The Art Of Marketing You
POSITIVE ATTITUDE for the Weary Soul
Diary of a Realtor
mililani real estate
mililani home for sale
mililani real esate agent

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Thomas McCombs
Century 21 HomeStar - Akron, OH

Getting backup offers is a sure sign that the market is improving.  It was not too long ago that it was tough to get any offer at all, let alone a backup offer.

Looking into my crystal ball, I predict that we are in the beginning stages of a new bubble, unless of course the Donald is wrong. 

But on the other hand . . .

Mar 13, 2012 01:29 AM #33
Ron Tiller
Star Referral - Grand rapids MI - Grand Rapids, MI

Back-up offers are rare in my area. Most buyers want to move on to a home that they CAN buy.

Mar 13, 2012 01:46 AM #34
Judy Orr
HomeSmart Realty Group - Orland Park, IL
SW & Near West Chicago suburbs

We don't see back-up offers in my area much.  Most buyers move on and find something else - our inventory is still high although homes priced well in the lower price ranges are selling quickly and sometimes with multiple offers.  I have a listing now where the buyers have asked for an extension and we thought we were closing this week and there are still conditions.  My sellers are freaking out and I'm wishing we had a back-up offer.  

This house sold quickly but it showed well with the furniture and staging advice the seller's paid for.  They are moving out and it will then be a vacant home and might not look as nice.  I'm hoping we close shortly and I wish back-up offers were more prevalent here.

Mar 13, 2012 01:54 AM #35
Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team

Hi Sally, I agree with the idea of getting backup offers.  But in our MLS as soon as you "pend" a listing it gets no more showings.  And this is a real issue with short sales as often as they fall through.

Mar 13, 2012 01:59 AM #36
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Century 21 Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

@ Terry:  I believe it benefits BOTH buyer and seller in a lot of cases. All circumstances will depend on each of our local area real esate markets and of course the situation of the specific property itself. In this particular area of the property...we had lots of activity...but only two offers. The back up offer came in about 2.5 weeks after the first one was in contract. Because of personal circumstances ...I knew the buyers were serious and would hang on should the first fall out. It may not always be the situation although in this case it benefit both sides and when the first one fell out...this one immediately started.  If we do our homework then we KNOW..that no matter what ...a back up offer is certainly better than none at all.  

Mar 13, 2012 02:23 AM #37
John Cannata
214-728-0449 - Frisco, TX
Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance

Your best bet is to always keep in contact with the second best offer, just in case. Truth is that you just never know if a buyer will do something to their credit prior to buying the home which now prevents them from qualifying. We have certainly seen it where we tell the buyer not to do ANYTHING until the transaction is complete... but they get excited and buy furniture. The new inquiry, added debt, and slightly lower FICO may drop them below 620 which pushes them out of being qualified. Good idea to keep the backup offer. Im sure it helped make your vacation a little more restful.

Mar 13, 2012 02:24 AM #38
Ric Mills
Keller Williams Southern Az - Tucson, AZ
Integrity, Honesty, and Vast Real Estate Knowledge

Backup offers can save the day as long as they are realistic.  In short sales, we get them all the time, just in case.

Mar 13, 2012 02:38 AM #39
Dominique Britton Realty LLC - 678.250.5022 - Buford, GA
Experience the Difference in Real Estate Services

Sally, congrats on keeping the Seller happy. Back up offers are a great plan B.

Mar 13, 2012 03:32 AM #40
Sharon Simms
Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International - Saint Petersburg, FL
Having a backup offer in place is a good tool for the seller against unreasonable inspection demands.
Mar 13, 2012 08:23 AM #41
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Sounds great.  I like it when the escrow officers do all the work.  

Mar 13, 2012 10:22 AM #42
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Sally I don't know if we are in Back Up Offers here in Connecticut yet, but I am seeing more multiple offers, which to me indicates that the market maybe changing.

Mar 13, 2012 11:09 AM #43
Wayne Jackson
Lakeshore Realty 208-714-4109 - Hayden, ID
North Idaho Realtor, Serving Coeur dnullAlene and Hayden Lake

Hi Sally, Great topic. Back up ofers are always a good idea if you can get them.

Mar 13, 2012 12:05 PM #44
Rocky Dole
Revelation Real Estate - Maricopa, AZ

I always accept backup offers.

Mar 13, 2012 12:43 PM #45
Bill Reddington
Re/max Southern Realty - Destin, FL
Destin Florida Real Estate

I would always accept backups also. Our market here is going back to that type of situation as inventory dwindles.

Mar 13, 2012 02:43 PM #46
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Century 21 Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

Looks like the majority of us believe back up offers are better than none at all...  Also, two is better than one...or none too for that matter lol!


You all have a great rest of the week!

Mar 13, 2012 04:08 PM #47
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA


Taking back-up offers on a property is just a prudent move.  Even though a buyer seems to be gold, you never know what will happen.  If for some reason the escrow falls through having an offer that can move in first position will shorten the delay in closing.

Mar 14, 2012 08:08 AM #48
David Grbich
Realty One Group - - San Juan Capistrano, CA
Orange County Real Estate - 949-500-0484

Backup offers are a good strategy for both buyers and sellers. Deals do fall through and buyers in backup can certainly benefit when they do - thanks for sharing.

Mar 15, 2012 12:28 AM #49
Sylvie Stuart
Realty One Group Mountain Desert 928-600-2765 - Flagstaff, AZ
Home Buying, Home Selling and Investment - Flagsta

Great job getting the home sold--it can be tough if there isn't a back up offer in place to fall back on!

Mar 15, 2012 05:00 AM #50
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

Backup offers are great but here the buyer often requests that NO backup offers can be accepted. It is an option available on our contracts. A simple check of the right box and it is done.

Mar 17, 2012 02:00 AM #51
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

I never understand why some agents and sellers don't want to accept backup offers.  It's also in a buyers best interest to put in a back up offer if they like the house because a lot of times there are people circling waiting for that first offer to go away and once it does the home comes back on the market and bunches of buyers may try to get in on it, but if a buyer already has a back up accepted, voila, into first position.  Everyone is happy. -Kasey

Apr 14, 2012 02:52 PM #52
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman

Spam prevention

Additional Information